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LJI:2 That one friend
James and Amy climbed the porch stairs and found a note on the door “Come on in if you’re invited.”  James shrugged and got the door for Amy who was carrying a bowl of her famous cheese dip.  Once inside they stopped in the entryway and stared.

“Um, this is still Paul’s house right?” Amy asked.

“Yes, it is.”

Music blared out of the speakers, thrash or death or some kind of metal.  She could see dozens of people, most of whom she didn’t recognize, holding red plastic cups and moving to the music, though it was difficult to see through the haze of smoke.

“And this is the low-key, post-holiday nosh and drinks party he throws every year?”

“That’s what the email said.”

At that moment chanting started from the kitchen.  James and Amy were both drawn forward by the sound several feet until they could see through the entryway.

“So, do you recognize the guy doing the keg stand?” James asked.

“No.  Since when does this party have a keg?”

“I have no idea.” James began peering through the haze.  “We should find Paul.”

“Good plan.  I’m going to put this in the…”  As Amy was stepping toward the kitchen to put down her dip the keg stand ended – and the standee began spraying the entire kitchen with beer to much raucous laughter.  “Actually, I’ll just hold on to this for a bit.”

James and Amy wandered through the party, trying to figure out when Paul had decided to throw a kegger, and why he hadn’t said anything about the change.  In a corner they spotted Alan, a long-time friend who always brought a half-dozen bottles of fairly expensive wine to the normal version of this gathering.

“Having fun?”

“These – people – took all of my wine and poured it into the largest pot in the kitchen, added a bottle of vodka and some fruit juice from the fridge, and they’re drinking it.”

Amy couldn’t decide if Alan was disgusted or offended and settled on a mix of the two. “What’s happening?  Have you seen Paul?”

“I got here a little early and had a chance to talk to him.  Remember that radio thing from November?”

James groaned.  “Sure.  Paul had to beat a phone-in game, then answer a trivia question and sing along to a song live on the radio.  He took seventh place.  He’s been talking about how he did so well and how he was going to receive a major award for weeks.  What about it?”

“Welcome to Paul’s award.” Alan sarcastically gestured to the party.

“The radio station ruined his party?  Yay?” said Amy confusedly.

“Wait, isn’t that –“ James pointed through the doorway.  “That guy, isn’t he – that guy?  The one who was in those movies in the 80’s, with the catchphrase?  What is his name?”

“His name is Dirk.” Alan said.  “Yes, that’s him.  I got to shake his hand earlier when his friends carried my wine to the kitchen.”

“Paul knows him?  I’m amazed he never brought this up before.”

“Paul met him tonight.  Apparently Dirk arrived and said the party looked cool but a little calm and asked if he could invite a few friends over too.  Paul said sure and this,” Alan once again gestured to the party “is the result.”

“Wait, how is this Paul’s award?” Amy asked.  A loud crash came from somewhere behind them, “And where is Paul, anyway?”

“Paul is hiding in the bedroom.  This is seventh prize – Dirk shows up at a party you’re throwing.  The fact that he’s still stuck in the 80’s frat comedies he starred in is a bug or a feature, depending on your point of view.”

“Why doesn’t Paul tell them all to leave?”

“I asked him that, when they were rolling in the keg.  Paul said he couldn’t do that to his 'won' friend.”  Alan looked at the bowl in Amy’s hands.  “Is that your cheese dip?”

“It is.”

“Do you want to both come over to my place?  We can open some wine without additives and eat it all ourselves.”

“Yes, that sounds amazing.”

“Should we invite Paul too?”  James asked.  The three of them stared at each other.

***The LJ Idoling continues.  To read other takes on the topic go here.  The puns attacked my brain early this year.***

Poor Paul! He did boast about how well he did, must be embarrassing to have his party hijacked!
Keggers and frat parties- something tells me they're still going on! I enjoyed this piece! Hugs and peace~~~

I am certain there is always a kegger somewhere, as some folks grow out of them new ones age in, or refuse to ever leave.

I do feel a little bad for Paul to have his prize turn out so poorly. Though if he had stuck to wine and cheese it may have gone better.

Thanks for reading (so quickly) and commenting!

this made me want cheese dip. >.< also crackers. poor paul! it's like college students invaded his party. altho dirk can't be that exciting if his appearance only rates seventh place.

This also make me want cheese dip and crackers - I may have to ask mom for her 'cheese log' recipe.

It's kind of like those actors who now make a living appearing at cons after guesting on Trek once, though if you've fallen low enough to be a radio call in prize it's probably time to find something else to do.

This is hilarious!! Well done.

Thank you! When a topic feels 'dark' to me I frequently go looking for the pun to counteract it.

Also, your icon is amazing.

Ouch! Yes, please invite poor Paul. He isn't even keeping an eye on his place anymore, so if it gets trashed, he won't be able to do anything about it.

This totally sounds like a radio station's idea of a 'prize,' too. :)

I have a feeling it depends on how much of the party they have to wade through to get to the bedroom Paul is hiding in.

Yeah, local radio contests always sound fun, and then they start to list the prizes and I don't really want any of them - heh.

Good, that was the goal.

Yay! It's good when silliness = enjoyment, there's always the fear of it missing the mark entirely.

Ha!! Seventh place prize!

Oddly one of the things I had trouble settling on was what place prize this should be.

I think maybe Paul should have turned it down...

I think this might be one of those times I'm glad the seventh place finisher doesn't usually win anything.

Right? Prizes below fifth frequently feel like odd filler anyway (leg lamp anyone).

This is such an amusing sort of tragedy. I don't think I'd be as spineless Paul... semi-famous or not, I'd throw the damn has-been and his entourage of morons out... I was never fond of 80s kegger movies. Great story!

Now I'd throw Dirk out for certain, but when I was younger if I had bragged a thing up I'd have had a harder time abandoning it. I can see how Paul got sucked in, but think he needs to leave the bedroom to at least defend his home.


It sure does not seem like a win for Paul, I hope he has a lock on his bedroom door. I also hope his friends do not decide to bail without him.

Nope, not a win for Paul. I think James is likely to go and get him, though Alan is just heading for the door and done.

Oh, man. Poor Paul! This was a really creative take on the prompt, and I'm glad to see you're doing Idol again. :)

"The fact that he’s still stuck in the 80’s frat comedies he starred in is a bug or a feature, depending on your point of view."

I loved this line!

I don't remember which of my tech friends I first heard say "it's not a bug, it's a feature" but I adopted the phrase immediately.

Thanks, it's good to see you back too. I've been having a blast reading things and remembering folks.

I love the image of the old star stuck in his old role. And how unfortunate it'd be to have someone like that crashing your party.

Thank you. I feel a little bad for Dirk, but I don't think he'd have any idea why - heh.

This was so much fun! I love that the friend isn't a friend at all (a "won friend") who probably would have appreciated being rescued! Great job!

Yay, thank you. Honestly this whole idea started from the pun of a 'won' friends and then figuring out how to make that work.

Haha..This was clever use of the prompt! My heart goes out for Paul. Amazing read. Great job! Kudos!

Thanks lady. Yeah, poor Paul did not get what he wanted, but at least he won something.

WON friend! Yay! :D I'm tickled by that :D

Yay! That play on words is what started this whole thing.